FarmWeb News 07/10/2013

In sharp contrast to last year, the planting of winter oilseed rape and cereals is moving ahead at a considerable pace. Farmers are confident that their planned acreages will be achieved this year.

Farm leaders have welcomed the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 which came into force on 1st October. Dealers need to be licensed by the local authority and to verify the name and address of the seller at point of sale.

Milk producers are currently receiving much better prices than last year with Tesco paying almost 34p/litre from November. Dairy Crest says that milk prices have increased 15% over twelve months and they are investing £45m to increase the production of milk powder following strong demand from China.

Police are concerned over a huge fertiliser theft from a farm in Lincolnshire. Sixty-two 1 tonne bags of ammonium nitrate were taken. The material can be used as a basis for explosives.

TB affected almost 5,000 new cattle herds in 2012, with a slight reduction in England but rises in both Scotland and Wales. The disease was also found in sheep, pigs, deer and domestic pets. Scientists are working on a project that would enable TB resistance to be bred into cattle within the next two years.

Following the abolition, in England, of the Agricultural Wages Board on 1st October, the NFU (E&W) is to offer advice to members and the Unite union is to advise its farm worker members. The situation in Wales is still under consideration whilst Scotland and Northern Ireland have retained their boards.

The final issues in the new CAP deal, outstanding since June, have now been agreed and will form part of the package to be implemented in 2014. Large payments, over €150,000, will be reduced and up to 15% of CAP support can be moved into rural development projects. DEFRA is likely to opt for the full 15%, in England, against opposition from the NFU (E&W). DEFRA has promised to ensure that subsidies only go to genuine farmers.

After months of negotiations, a price has been agreed between the NFU (E&W) and British Sugar for the 2014 crop. Growers will be paid £31.67/tonne an increase of over 14% on the figure originally offered.